He Hulikoʻa Kanaloa—Seeking the Depths of Kanaloa: Hawaiian Religious Understandings of the Ocean

January 7, 2021

Jane Lokomaika‘ikeakua Au, Program Director of the non-profit group ʻĀina Momona on the island of Molokai

This lecture details ancestral Hawaiian understandings of the primary oceanic deity in the Pacific, Kanaloa. The topic aims to provide an overview of how the Native Hawaiian community perceives both Kanaloa and the ocean realm, from a religious and cultural perspective. It makes use of rarely accessed Hawaiian language resources, sharing information that is largely inaccessible to those outside of the Hawaiian language speaking community. This lecture poses the question: In looking at how ancestral Hawaiians understood Kanaloa as a deity, what can be revealed in their understanding of the oceanic realm he represented?